Black Volume of the Dead, also known as the Dark Artifices, is a powerful spell book containing dark magic.
In late 1903, Magnus Bane and Brother Zachariah were sent to inspect the books in the Cornwall Institute. Just as they were finishing their two week stay to do so, the head of the Institute, Albert Pangborn, informed them that the Black Volume appeared to be moving of its own volition. The pair took the book to the Spiral Labyrinth to be inspected and repaired. They took it to the Brass Vault as the book would return to its original state by either rejoining it with its fellows or not allowing it to do so. Inside the Vault, the book flew out of Magnus's hand and the other books from the shelf joined it to form a golem-like shape. The figure attacked them, injuring Zachariah. Before he and Magnus could destroy it, it escaped into the Brass Arcades.
When Andrew Blackthorn moved to Los Angeles to run the Institute there, he took the book with him. During the Dark War, in December 2007, Malcolm once again stole the book, and this time, the theft went unnoticed for five years. In 2012, he used a spell within the book to resurrect Annabel Blackthorn, and she had since taken hold of the book.
The Unseelie King wanted the book for spells to empower Ash Morgenstern and used the Seelie Queen to gain possession of it. He tried to welcome Annabel into his Court, but the woman wouldn't give up the book. Julian procured a photocopied binding of the book for the Queen that was later destroyed by Ethna. Annabel brought the real book with her to Thule and used it to open a Portal for Julian Blackthorn and Emma Carstairs to return to their dimension before her own death.
Meanwhile, Ty had photos of pages of the Black Volume, synced from Julian's phone. Ty used the pages to cast a spell that would bring Livvy back from the dead and succeeded only partially due to a corrupted catalyst. Ty threw the phone into the ocean afterwards.
- Several resurrection rituals, including one that requires sacrifices and one that could work without the person's body
- Spells to imbue a person — ideally a young child — with extraordinary powers
- Invocations for the Prince of Hell Belial
- It is the black book referred to in the faerie rhyme relating to the Lady Midnight.
- The Volume was revealed to be the titular object of The Dark Artifices series in the final installment, Queen of Air and Darkness.
- It is the titular object of the upcoming Eldest Curses book, The Black Volume of the Dead.
- The whereabouts of the book post-Queen of Air and Darkness is currently unknown. It is a secret and is, according to the author, surprising, and will be revealed in a future installment.